Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7, 2018

Location: Hobe Sound, Jonathan Dickinson State Park

I'm a female Black and Yellow garden spider
I have three claws on each of my feet.
I use the extra claw when spinning my web
Or wrapping up tasty treats.

My boyfriend is much smaller than me,
He plucks my web strings to get my attention.
Then we go on a date, have fun and mate,
The result is a spider convention!

Note: Many people see this spider and are instantly terrified based on it's size. Although all spiders have some venom, in general, in Florida, only the Black Widow and Brown Widow have venom that is harmful to humans. Although there are many alleged bites from Brown Recluse spiders, in reality there are very few confirmed Brown Recluse spiders in Florida. They are almost always brought in via luggage, cars, packing crates and so forth and have not been confirmed breeding here.

Note though, that spider bites can be similar to bee stings in that some people can have allergic reactions.  People who are allergic to bee stings can die from just one sting, whereas in the general population, bees (and most spiders) are not harmful, and in fact are quite beneficial to humans.

Sources: University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web - Argiope aurantia

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

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